Osnabrück Declaration on strengthening European vocational education and training adopted

In a ceremony in the run-up to the videoconference of EU education ministers, the so-called Osnabrück Declaration was adopted - with the involvement of the European social partners.

The aim of the Osnabrück Declaration is to revitalise the Copenhagen process as a common platform to make vocational education and training fit for the future and thus strengthen Europe's competitiveness.

The Copenhagen process is an integral part of voluntary European cooperation in vocational education and training. The stakeholders involved include national education ministers, the European Commission and the EU social partners. This year's declaration was also supported by EU training associations and learners' organisations: They set new guidelines for enhanced cooperation through joint declarations. The process has been renewed and developed several times since 2002.

The aim of this year's declaration is to modernise European vocational education and training. It should serve as a pathfinder for recovery and the "just transition" to a digital and green economy. The signatories agreed that vocational education and training has a key role to play in digitalisation, a changing world of work and demographic and climate change.
The aim is to increase employability and promote high-quality vocational training and better permeability of education systems. The declaration is structured along four objectives, from which jointly defined, concrete measures are derived at EU and national level for the period 2021-2025:
  • increase economic resilience,
  • jointly build a culture of continuing education,
  • Anchoring sustainability in vocational training,
  • promote and strengthen the international dimension of vocational education and training with cross-border mobility.
The declaration emphasises that a strong partnership with the social partners is crucial to achieve the objectives set out. The BDA had actively participated in the Declaration in the framework of the Advisory Committee on Vocational Education and Training and welcomes the result. The declaration makes an important contribution to strengthening the equivalence of vocational and academic education.